Wrestling makes their way to league


Lauren Montano

In the Downey High gym during a match against Domingez wrestler, Maria Hernadez,11, attempts to pin her opponent on, Jan. 24, in order to win her match. Hernadez is the sole girl on the wrestling team this year.

Marilyn Ramirez, Copy Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief

Since their first match on Nov. 28, 2012, wrestling has competed in 15 duels with a 13-2 winning streak that puts them on the road to San Gabriel Valley League Finals this Saturday, February 2.

Although the team had had their ups and downs, they have been left with an imprint of the dedication they put into the sport. Senior Arya Givehchin understood what it took to be a part of an intense sport like wrestling and stood by his team after both wins and losses.

“For wrestling, you need discipline immensely,” Givehchin said. “It really pushes you. Even though anyone can join, you’re not automatically born great; you make yourself great.”

Team members agreed with Givehchin. Some of their goals included the obvious: making CIF Finals and becoming league champions; some, however, were not as monumental. During summer drillings teammates like junior David Garcia expected more from the team than awards and honors.

“I wanted to be a part of this team to make it better,” Garcia said. “Yeah, titles would be really cool but I think what we lacked from last year was hard work, determination, and drive. That’s what I wanted to accomplish this year.”

Coach Soto, undoubtedly proud of his team, spoke of the season so far with expectations for the weekend to come.

“I know that these kids can do it with their eyes closed,” Soto said, “but it’s up to them if they really want it.”

Although not a widely watched sport by the student body, except for the popular duels vs. Warren, family members and friends take the time to watch the sometimes three-hour event to support the team. For every pin to the ground, students Vanessa Lopez, 10, and Pamela Salazar, 9, give a rowdy cheer for Downey. Even though they have only been Vikings for one year, Lopez and Salazar have a passion for the sport and even played for their own school in Arizona.

“My dad was really into MMA fighting, so it kind of rubbed off on us,” Lopez said. “Wrestling was the closest thing to it and when we came to Downey, I thought it’d be cool to support the team by going to the matches.”

With support and the team’s dedication, there’s optimism for this Saturday. This season’s hard work has given the team a chance to follow up on their CIF championship two years ago and prepare a suitable team for next year.